Beavers still atop GWAC with 59-37 win over Longhorns
By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — Coming off last Friday's game in which the Beavers only gave up eight points to Hugoton, undefeated Scott City rolled into Holcomb on Tuesday to face the once-beaten Longhorns.
Both teams came into the Great West Activities Conference game with 2-0 conference records.
But in the end, the Beavers showed why they are the top-ranked team in Class 3A and looking for their third straight state title, with a convincing 59-37 win, their ninth straight win over the Longhorns.
Scott City struck quickly and often, opening up a 17-2 lead during a span in which the Longhorns committed eight turnovers.
Trey O'Neil and Drew Kite scored the first 14 Beaver points, the with O'Neil's from the outside and Kite's on the inside, as Scott City won the opening quarter 19-9.
They worked the lead up to 31-12 midway into the second quarter before Holcomb's 8-2 run late.
After a turnover-fest from both teams to open the third period, the Beavers found their stride again, outscoring Holcomb 18-2 in the quarter and squashing any Holcomb plan for a comeback.
Trey O'Neil led all scorers with 16 points, while Kite and Brett O'Neil each had 13.
For Scott City coach Glenn O'Neil, it was a fairly well-oiled machine for most of the game as his Beavers followed the game plan that has led them to a 6-0 start (3-0 in the GWAC).
His team is getting closer to being in synch each day, he said.
"We're getting there by working harder in practice. We're getting our legs back underneath us where we can run," Glenn O'Neil said. "I think that affects the defense more than anything, and the last couple games our defense has been better."
That defense caused 21 Holcomb turnovers, which Scott City converted one way or another into 21 points.
Holding Holcomb to just one field goal in the third quarter was also a credit to his defense, he said.
"We always tell our guys that in a close game against a good team, that first two minutes of the third quarter can make or break you," he said. "If you can stretch that lead out, you take away a little bit of their hope."
During one stretch in the third, though, the Beavers turned the ball over five times in six possessions, half their total for the game.
It's something to drive the coaching staff crazy, O'Neil said.
"We were getting what we wanted with the screen and roll, but we weren't making good choices with the ball," he said. "Credit Holcomb's defense; they covered us different than a lot of teams have."
For Holcomb coach Chad Novack, Scott City didn't do anything unexpected. His Longhorns just didn't execute well.
"What Scott City does, they do it very well. They play with a lot of confidence and that makes them a very good ball team. That's something we need to do is play with more confidence," he said.
Novack thought his team started out tense and tight, yet his team's late run in the second quarter to get back into the game showed some of the confidence he was hoping to build upon for the third quarter.
"Our mindset was one possession at a time," he said. "But we get a stop, then we turn the ball over. Get a stop, turn it over. That was kind of our theme tonight, too many turnovers (21). You're not going to beat the number-one team in the state with that many turnovers."
Tyler LaSalle and Blake Richmeier led the Longhorns (6-2, 1-1) with nine points each.
Scott City was 23-for-44 from the floor (52 percent) while Holcomb was just 15-for-39 (38 percent).
Scott City hosts Colby Friday in another conference game then heads to the Tournament of Champions in Dodge City next week, opening against 6A Derby.
Holcomb travels to Ulysses for a conference game Friday before traveling to the Hillsoboro tournament next week.
Scott City 19 17 18 5 -- 59
Holcomb 9 11 2 15 -- 37
Scott City (59) — BO'Neil 5 2-4 13, Pounds 0 0-1 0, Wells 1 0-0 2, TO'Neil 6 0-1 16, Hess 2 0-0 4, Habiger 1 0-0 2, Wilson 2 0-0 5, JMeyer 2 0-0 4, Kite 4 5-7 13. Totals 23 7-13 59.
Holcomb (37) — LaSalle 3 3-4 9, Hernandez 1 0-1 2, Cox 1 0-0 3, Gilbert 1 1-2 3, Richmeier 4 0-0 9, Roth 1 0-0 3, Bennett 2 0-0 4, Ramsey 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 4-7 37.
3-pt. goals — Scott City 7-14 (BO'Neil 1, TO'Neil 4, Wilson 1), Holcomb 2-7 (Cox, Richmeier, Roth). Rebounds — Scott City 25 (Kite 11), Holcomb 24 (Bennett 7, Ramsey 7). Turnovers — Scott City 15, Holcomb 21. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Scott City 11, Holcomb 19.